Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Halloween Week - Drabble Wednesday: Infernal Ghosts

Welcome to the Halloween Week Edition of Drabble Wednesday. Today I bring you spectres, spooks and phantoms from the deepest, darkest bowels of the underworld...

Twilight Whispers

The clouds hung the sky in muted grey, settling low to meld with the horizon. The gloom of dusk stole the last burnished rays of sunset and crept up to meet the clouds. The air spread a leaden cast, a hint of dampness clinging to a vigorous wind.
From the old burial ground, with its sunken earth and broken gravestones, came a scratching, rasping, slithering sound. A noise of crawlers and claws, of burrowing and hiss. Dirt bulged and ground erupted, in a spray of grime and worms.
And momentary silence.
To be broken by skittering whispers.
Death is coming...


Autumn in the Country

The cold howl of the not-yet-winter wind as it blew through the bare branched trees. The smell of leaf rot and smoke, of apple cider. Sweet memories of my uncle’s home, the grand Marbury Estate.
We visited him every autumn, my parents and I, each weekend until the last week in October. I so enjoyed the visits, I never questioned the reasons.
Until it was too late.
Why didn’t I ask? Why didn’t I wonder?
They might be alive if I had.
Oh, what that thing did to them...
What it made me do...
I don’t want to kill again.



Another teenager has gone missing.
The third one in eight months. Plus two more from last year.
I hear the murmurs from the townsfolk as they pass, the scared voices wondering what happened to the boy and the others. Some say they were kidnapped, some say crazy Old Man Potter killed them, others think they simply ran off. Teenagers do that, you know.
Of course, they’re all wrong. They never left. All the town’s missing are so close.
You see, each missing teen trespassed in the abandoned Pritchard house.
My house.
So I tucked them away.
Even ghosts need company.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

That's it for today, but don't forget my Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway (live until October 31st) You can find it by clicking on the Giveaway Tab at the top of the blog or this link: Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Halloween Week: Dark Poetry Corner

Welcome to Day Two of my Halloween Week. Today we explore the darker side of verse, where words drip in blood. To start us off, here’s a little nursery rhyme, tweaked ever so slightly…

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With red, red blood, soaked in mud
And grinning skulls all in a row.

And now for my featured poems.


Nightmares breathe inside out
my waking dreams of madness
in the dark hallows hurricane

Hallucinatory ambience
and fractured existence askew
Nightmares breathe inside out

Screams, screams, shattered fear
Voices, faces, that melding maelstrom
my waking dreams of madness

To close, too late
all shattered bone and blood
in the dark hallows hurricane

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved


Immortality, that ephemeral beguile
Souls’ reaper, eternity’s keeper,
cast adrift your last breath’s smile
Immortality, that ephemeral beguile
An undulating shadow, a drifting exile
into death wandering ever deeper
Immortality, that ephemeral beguile
Souls’ reaper, eternity’s keeper

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

And if these dark poetic delights have tantalized your appetite, please check out my new book of horror poetry, Horror Haiku and Other Poems.

Horror Haiku and Other Poems

Words linger...
In the darkness of shadows, in the distant screams.
They whisper past the drip, drip of blood.
The strange beauty of words hide, waiting for you.
Embrace the horror.

Venture past safe reality, into the world of terror told in verse. Horror Haiku and Other Poems brings forth surreal dread and spins it in artistic countenance. From small chilling bites of poetry, to murky morsels of fright, come find where the words haunt you, where they live and die.

You also have a chance to win Horror Haiku and Other Poems prizes in my Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway (live until October 31st). Just click on the Giveaway Tab at the top of the blog or this link: Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Halloween Week Begins With The Dark Man

Today, I officially kick off the beginning of my Halloween Week, (October 24th-31st) a spooky extravaganza of fun to celebrate the season. I have stories, poetry, a character interview with Lizzie Borden (from Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter), and some book spotlights, including one for the new release,  Furr by Axel Howerton. And don't forget to enter my Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway (live until October 31st) by clicking on the Giveaway Tab at the top of the blog or this link: Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway!  So come join me if you dare.

Now, settle in for my story based on another variation of the headless horsemen, this time a death rider from Ireland called The Dullahan. So don't walk alone at night and beware the Dark Man...

The Dark Man

On the blackest of evenings, when not a star nor moonbeam lit the sky and the clouds seemed made of soot and charcoal, a solitary figure walked the road home. His gait swayed and his liquor-laden breath puffed grey in the cold, while the lantern in his hand swung shadows across his footsteps. A jaunty, but off-tune, whistle played from his lips, and a grin lit his face.
“The best of nights it was!” He shouted raucous joy to the darkened heavens, before returning to his whistling.
His words echoed through the trees, a shiver to disturb the night birds and other things...
A shadow far beyond the road, the trees, or thoughts of drunken evenings, stirred. A scrape and a thump, a rhythmic pounding, and shudder of inky damnation set an ill-wind blowing across the countryside. And spinning on its eddy, came the sound of a name.
The whistling man stopped at the chime of his name and turned, holding the lantern high and peering down the path he left behind. Hollow emptiness met his eyes and a chill breeze scattering the leaves of autumn.
“Hello. Is anyone there? If it’s you Fergus, you’ve had your laugh. Come on out.”
The only answer was the hoot of an owl.
Conall shrugged. “I’m hearing things, I suppose. Silly imaginings.”
He swung himself and his lantern roundabout, and took three steps forward before his name again travelled down the road to his ears.
He shivered, but glanced back shining his light. Once more to see an empty road, devoid of any living soul. He shook his head, and turned back...
Another noise echoed, a faint thrash of hoofbeats. Conall spun, and saw nothing but a scatter of dust filling the air in the far distance. But no horse, no rider. Only the sound of a galloping beast and a spray of dirt.
He trembled, a shimmer of panic coursing through blood and bone. Then he ran, lantern waving wildly, racing as if the devil himself chased him. Breath heaving, feet pounding, his heart thumping a thunder boom in his chest, Conall bolted, while ever behind him rose the reverberation of a galloping horse. Closer, closer, louder, louder, until the rhythmic hammer of the sound smashed against his head, driving him faster into his mad flight.
He cried out, “What are you?!” as a immense shadow closed over him, and a great wind blew past him.
No not past, it felt as if the gale went through him. Chilled to the marrow, each breath an agony, Conall pulled short his frantic escape, stumbling over his feet as he stopped. A foul stench made him choke and he shuddered, his body rife with a damp stickiness. He looked down at his hands. They were covered in blood. His hands, his clothes his skin, his hair, all soaked in blood. On the tattered ends of his scream, he heard his name.
Slowly, fearfully, he lifted his gaze. Before him was a massive black steed pawing at the ground. The creature tossed its head, snorting ruddy sparks from its nostrils and small flames from its mouth and staring at Conall with radiant crimson eyes. But as fearsome as the creature was, the rider atop its back seized Conall’s blood and soul in unspeakable dread.
It held all semblance of a man dressed in black, save it had no head, or rather a head tucked in the crook of its right arm. This severed cranium shimmered in a translucent glow and it grinned at him, a hideous grimace stretching from ear to lopsided ear. Blue veins snaked across sallow skin, and its coal-black eyes darted like summer mosquitoes. A low chuckle emanated from its mouth, followed by  another utterance of his name.
Conall clutched his chest, choking out, “God save me!”
“It is too late for that.” The figure raised its left arm, and Conall spied a great whip made from the bones of a human spine. He fell to his knees, terror ripping through his guts.
“Spare me!”
Without word or mercy the creature brandished its whip, the malleable bones lashing around the flesh of Conall, and permeating to his very core. He screamed, the thousand times despair of the damned piercing him, and then he died, the soul shredded from his mortal form.
Farewell, Conall.”

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved 

And please, return and join me tomorrow for my dark poetry corner.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Undead Things

Today on Drabble Wednesday, come spend a day among the undead...

Fading Memories

A tangerine and cherry red sunset. The clouds seem to dance with the colours. My mother used to say the sky gave us fireworks to welcome the night.
I wonder if I’ll remember her, or sunsets. When it happens. When this me is gone.
I breathe the smell of the dewy grass, and the stink of rotting corpse. You can’t escape that smell anymore.
Damn. Why wasn’t I more careful?
What’s careful anymore? You live until your luck runs out. Like mine did.
I glance at the remains of mutilated zombie, and then at its bite mark on my arm.



I can still hear the screams.
That’s what happens when you crash your own funeral as a walking corpse. Not that I wanted to attend as the risen undead, or even die for that matter, but I didn’t get a choice. A car accident cut short my life and for the other thing...
Never have an affair with a woman who dabbles in the occult.
Break ups get unnaturally messy.
But I did have the last say, because she screwed up whatever the hell she did.
Now she’s dead with the rest of the funeral party.
She was tasty though.



The stench of brimstone clings to me. Even inhabiting this corpse I can smell it. In these clothes, the hair, on the skin. I wanted to escape Hell, not bring it with me.
I sigh. Best ignore and keep moving.
I scurry forward, staying to the shadows. I’ve slipped into the body of a woman, that much I know. Someone knifed in an alley, guessing from the blood and where I woke up. At least the wound is healing.
Now I just need to avoid the bounty hunters and kill my back-stabbing husband.
Then we can be in Hell together.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The #OctoberFrights Giveaway Winners

The Day After...

First, I want to thank all my fellow October Frights Hoppers who provided a week full of wickedly dark delights in the form of folklore, wonderful stories, and fascinating peeks at their books. It was a thoroughly enjoyable hop. I'd also like to thank everyone for all the shares and comments, and everyone who stopped by to view and read.

And now for the giveaway winners.

Here are the winners of my October Frights Rafflecopter Giveaway.

The winner of the prize of an ebook copy of Horror Haiku and Other Poems:

Joey Ross

The winner of  the prize of an ebook copy of Killers and Demons II: They Return:

Judi Torres


Both winners have been notified.

In the event the prize can not be awarded to a winner, an alternative name will be chosen.

And if you didn't win, you still have a shot at a copy of Horror Haiku and Other Poems, plus a really cool poster of the cover, in my Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway

So adieu from the October Frights Blog Hop.

The blog shall return to its regularly scheduled programming next week.

And don't forget my Halloween Week starts October 24th!

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